The 4-Questions Technique is a generative model designed to create iconogestural writing systems for languages using UniSkript’s suggested shapes, lines and diacritic marks. It employs the basic framework of Feature Geometry Theory combined with Articulatory Phonology Theory concepts. The parameters of phonological specification represented in the 4-Questions Technique can be summarized in terms the five tree-structures below.
The Root Node parameter specifies the status of the segment inside the syllabic structure and employs +consonantal and +syllabic features following the generative tradition. It corresponds to the temporal specification of the elements. UniSkript suggests the use of lines to represent vowels and geometric shapes to represent consonants.
Constriction Organ (CO)
The CO gesture parameter identifies the active organ involved in producing the constriction as defined in Articulatory Phonology Theory. The five CO's correspond to the five features defined by Clements (1980) under the Generative Theory framework. The symbols correspond almost entirely to the set of symbols created by King Sejong in his ancient featural Korean language alphabet.
Displaced Articulation (DA)
The next parameter specifies a marked gesture by the CO. In a displaced articulation, the CO forms a constriction in an organ which is not directly opposed to it, so the CO is displaced from its neutral position.
Amount of turbulence (AT)
This parameter specifies the AT produced by the active organ in the constriction place. Depending on the organ involved and on the AT, the vocal gesture will determine the quality of the consonants produced in the vocal tract.
Extra-Oral Constriction Gestures (EOC)
The extra-oral constriction gestures parameter includes any mechanism of contrastive enhancement implemented outside of the oral cavity. It borrows the nasal feature and the features under the supra-laryngeal node from Feature Geometry Theory, with some adaptations by the author.
A series of analytical steps based on the five parameters above form the basis for the generation of each symbol used in any UniSkript alphabet.